Hayes' season comes to end at Friday's U.S. Olympic Trials semifinals
EUGENE, Ore. — Sophomore Keyunta Hayes' record-setting season came to an end on Friday evening at the U.S. Olympic Trials when he was unable to advance in the 400-meter hurdles.
The Tyler native circled the Hayward Field oval in 51.46, which was good for eighth in the first of two semifinals. Bershawn Jackson (48.83), Kerron Clement (49.04), Justin Gaymon (49.37) and Reggie Wyatt (49.57) claimed the top four spots in the race and the quartet advanced to Sunday's final.
"When I came out of the blocks, I knew my legs weren't underneath me all the way," Hayes said. "By the time I got to the first hurdle, I knew if I went with my left leg, I was going to push too far away, so I ended up going with my right leg and drilled the hurdle. After that, I got back on track and made up what I needed to, but by then, it was too late. When you hit a hurdle, especially the first one, it's tough to come back, especially against a world-class field."
Meanwhile, Angelo Taylor (48.77), Michael Tinsley (49.05), Michael Stigler (49.50) and Johnny Dutch (49.59) earned the other four berths in the eight-man final by racing to the top four slots in the day's other semi.
Sunday's race is scheduled for 6:12 p.m. (CT).
Hayes finished his year as UTSA's ninth All-American by virtue of his fourth-place finish in the 400m hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. It marked the second-best national finish in program history and he became the first hurdler to earn an All-America certificate. He also won a total of three individual Southland Conference Championships [60m hurdles (indoor)/110m & 400m hurdles (outdoor)] and that helped the Roadrunners post their third league indoor/outdoor sweep in the last five seasons. The 6-foot, 160-pounder also set school records in both outdoor hurdles events (13.67 110m/49.38 400m).